Undefended: Top Five On-Screen Transformations

This week, FilmFisher writers were asked to make a list of the top five on-screen cinematic transformations. Here is what they came back with.

Thomas Banks

1. Daniel Day-Lewis in anything.

Annex - Veidt, Conrad (Man Who Laughs, The)_01

2. Conrad Veidt in “The Man Who Laughs.”

3. Orson Welles in “Othello.”

4. Meg Ryan in “Joe Versus the Volcano.”

5. Ralph Fiennes in “The English Patient.”


Elizabeth Stinnette

1. Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl”


2. John Hurt in “The Elephant Man”

3. Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

4. Meryl Streep in “Doubt”

5. Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”


Joshua Gibbs

1. Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire


2. Charlize Theron in Monster

3. Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich

4. Sharon Stone in Casino

5. Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler


Joseph Gross

1. Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln

2. Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire

3. Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland

4. Sylvester McCoy in The Hobbit (probably less significance to non-fans of 80s Doctor Who)


5. Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder


James Banks

1. Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder


2. Daniel Day-Lewis in A Room With A View

3. Brad Pitt in Snatch

4. Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Most Wanted Man

5. Kenneth Branagh in Dead Again


Justin Spencer

Touch of Evil (1958) Directed by Orson Welles Shown: Orson Welles

1. Orson Wells in Touch of Evil

2. Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice

3. Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark

4. Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

5A. Peter O’Toole in The Lion in Winter

5B. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man


Christian Leithart

1. Marlon Brando in The Godfather


2. Christian Bale in The Machinist

3. Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

4. Eddie Murphy in Coming to America

5. Christian Bale in American Hustle


Remy Wilkins

1. Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote (or Anything)

2. Tilda Swinton in I Am Love (or Anything)

3. Billy Bob Thorton in Slingblade


4. Michael Keaton in Multiplicity

5. Adam Sandler in Punchdrunk Love


Nate Douglas

1. Robert Di Nero—Raging Bull

2. Robert Di Nero—Taxi Driver

3. Dennis Quaid—Wyatt Earp

4. Anthony Hopkins—Silence of the Lambs


5. Daniel Day-Lewis—Gangs of New York

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches great books, collects records and jogs to work. He and his wife have two children, both of whom have seven names. He tweets at @joshgibbs and blogs for the CiRCE Institute.

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